Hand & Nail Empties: July-December 2018

I am finally bringing you my hand and nail empties from the last half of 2018. This post is a little bit ridiculously packed with products. In the future, these posts will be done quarterly. Today, to try to cut down on the length of the post, I have photographed some of the products together instead of all separately like I usually do. Since we are getting to the point where there are several repeat products, I think this is going to work better. I am still going to go vaguely in the order that I used stuff up instead of grouping by type!

Part I: Hand & Nail Care


The Body Shop’s Almond Nail & Cuticle Manicure Oil has been a favorite of my mom’s, so I decided to give it a go. Cuticle oil pens are my favorite form of cuticle oil to keep with me in my purse as they are very mess-free. This one worked brilliantly. I had a peruse through the ingredients and was thoroughly impressed. Until I get around to recreating it myself, I will gladly repurchase in the future! The scent is fairly bland and light enough that I doubt it would offend many.

If you have read my previous post, you know I am loving these Baroness X Acetone Antidotes as a replacement for my favorite nail polish remover. Pineapple Soda was an amazing fragrance, it really had an effervescence to it like a real soda. If there weren’t so many scents to try, I would get this one again in my next order!


I actually have used up a few bottles of the Beauty Secrets Non-Acetone nail polish remover since starting this series, but for whatever reason I have neglected until this point to include a bottle in a post. This stuff works just as well as acetone remover and, though it does not smell much better, it does not dry out my skin and cuticles as much. Combine that with Acetone Antidote and I’ve saved myself that little bit more. This stuff from Sally Beauty is the cheapest I have found on the market and my only complaint is that the largest size it is sold in is 32 oz. Give us a gallon size like the regular stuff comes in, you cowards.


Deborah Lippmann’s Hard Rock Base and Top coat is my favorite strengthening base coat after Nailtiques Formula 2. It did a fine job of keeping my nails peel-free and I already have another bottle on hand. I do not recommend it as a topper.

Seche Vite was my go-to top coat. I have talked about it before, but it has been eclipsed by the MDJ Creations Smooth Finish Fast Dry top coat. Seche Vite will still be my backup!

I made a cuticle salve and am not even going to share the recipe because I was not happy with it. It evolved from some fiddling with this recipe from Soap Queen, but I botched the proportions I was going for and it ended up greasier than intended. I do like using infused oil instead of adding many extracts, that is a change from the original that I will keep. Instead of avocado oil, in the future I would like to introduce argan oil and I have plans to add in some lanolin. Lots of experimenting to do!


Carnival was a delightful scent choice for Baroness X’s Acetone Antidote, reminiscent of caramel corn and ice cream, but it did not stand out enough for me once mixed in the remover. I doubt I will order that scent again in Acetone Antidote, but I would try it in a cuticle oil!

I got the Cuter Cuticles cuticle oil in scent Drink Me from the Polish Pickup in March for the book theme. It was part of my very first Polish Pickup order (the first of seven orders so far, yikes, I should not have looked at my order history). It was in a roller ball form, which is the second best packaging for keeping cuticle oil with you on the go. The scent was a light, milk and honey type scent and the oil was the perfect consistency: a little greasy but moisturizing and it absorbed in a reasonable time. I have another one of these, in a different scent, waiting for me from a later Polish Pickup order!


This is the empty jar from my DIY hand butter inspired by this recipe from Humblebee and Me. I subbed mango butter for cupuacu butter, safflower oil (my favorite) for hemp seed oil, and omitted the essential oil. I want to make this again because I stupidly made it for the summer – stupid because my current place has dodgy temperature control and it gets in excess of 100F in summer (outside, not inside, but my air conditioner struggles). Mine melted and reformed a bit and got a weird consistency. I would also like to try making this with a chamomile infused oil – I really love infusing oils and it would pay homage to the expensive essential oil used in the original recipe in a cheaper way.


I had a coupon for a free product at Bath and Body Works and, instead of doing the smart thing and not getting even more stuff, I grabbed this cute, dessert scented Pumpkin Cupcake hand cream. My excuse was that I didn’t have a fall scented hand cream on hand (oh, brother). It worked pretty well; not as good as my beloved Hand Food but better than using a regular lotion. It was very strongly scented, which is a little annoying. I can’t remember if these have mineral oil or not, so I may or may not repurchase (really wish BBW would put full ingredient lists on their website like they used to and really wish I didn’t toss the tube so quickly).

Hand Food is my favorite hand cream, I have gushed about it before. This one was in their Smoothie Star scent, which for now is only available in holiday gift sets. I really wish they would have it available individually all year-round, as it is a soft scent that is so much more appealing than the original pink.


I keep accumulating these little Body Shop hand creams and, as I have said before, not my favorite and barely better than using whatever lotion you have laying around. The frosted berries scent was wonderful!

With the finishing of this bottle of The Body Shop’s Sweet Almond Oil Nail Varnish Remover, I am now left with just one bottle. Time to cry.

Part II: Hand Soaps


I am just going to be reviewing scents because I think I pretty much covered the Bath and Body Works foaming hand soap formula in my previous post. Coconut Vanilla is one of my forever favorite scents. I love it in all forms – body care and home fragrance. I would and will repurchase in a heartbeat. Pineapple Colada is also amazing. It smells overwhelmingly pineapple – I would expect some coconut given the name, but I’m not complaining. Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits and scents. Definitely would repurchase.


Papaya & Mint smelled great in the bottle, but when I started using it I could not wait to be done! It smelled like a bad men’s cologne and I would not buy anything in this scent ever again.

On the other hand, Toasted Vanilla Chai was wonderful! It was slightly sweet, warm, and spicy. So yummy, I wanted to drink it up (I did not). I am currently using another one – I think that tells you all you need to know about my love for this scent!


In the colder months, I need to use these more nourishing type hand soaps. White Pumpkin Peppercorn was absolutely amazing. I am not sure what brought me to give it a sniff, but I am so glad I did! It was spicy but not overly peppery (I actually don’t like pepper that much) and had a creamy base. This is definitely one of the most interesting and unique scents Bath and Body Works has ever done, I am very disappointed that they did not bring it back in 2018 (it was from Fall 2017).

Thanks for sticking with me through that! I think we can all agree that quarterly posts will be easier to digest. Have you tried any of these? Did you have any favorite hand/nail care that you discovered in 2018? I would love to hear about it!

xx, Ashley


3 thoughts on “Hand & Nail Empties: July-December 2018”

  1. I laughed out loud at the “give us a gallon size, you cowards” phrase. Honestly, it’s like they don’t understand there are normal people that go through that much.
    You’re really swaying me to get the Hand Food, so I just might have to pick it up tomorrow! I wanted to wait to purchase it until I used up my other lotions, and now that I have I’m ready to see if it lives up to the hype.
    I love that you DIY some hand creams and cuticle creams, that’s so fun, and I can imagine cheaper when making big batches! Love the empties posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cuticle salve/balm/whatever was actually the first thing besides soap I ever DIYed. At the time, I figured if I totally screwed it up that I would not be down an essential. These days that is not so true, I need to be surrounded by good cuticle care :]

      Liked by 1 person

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